Old Turnpike Road, Beattystown to Hampton Park, Hampton, NJ
by Bob Rancan
Saturday, December 5, 2015
A nice day on the mighty Musconetcong...finally. Because of a very dry summer and early fall, the annual draw down of big Lake Hopatcong did not commence until November 30th. Usually a mid November start date is what's expected and we can get two or three weekend paddles in before the weather turns cold. This year, Saturday, December 5th was our first opportunity to find some decent flowing water. After mid-week rains had come and gone, the level was dropping steadily but an early morning check of the Bloomsbury gauge showed it at 1.81 or 175cfs. Nothing to write home about but enough for a run down the quick section through Point Mountain. We had a good response and 9 solo paddlers came. We met our member and friend Chris Meyers and 5 Mohawk Club members and combined forces for a nice group of 15. I thought of trading Martin to Mohawk so that all seven red canoes could stay together but seeing how he is one of our Club's founders, all round ombudsman, heart and soul, etc. I couldn't pull the trigger on that idea. Maybe next time.
The weather was nice; pushing 50 degrees and sunny. The December sun was mostly right in our eyes though and made finding the course through the low spots and rock gardens almost impossible - when I finally put on sunglasses you know I can't see anything and after lunch I had to concede. Hardly spotted any wildlife but a wonderful trip nonetheless. Thanks to Al Grenley for the photos, Sumonnat Konchatree, Mark Grossmann, Monica Orso, Martin Wellhoefer, Teri Rocco, Jim Lyon and Rico Paglei, Chris and the Mohawks (especially Jack Bush and his stories).